Pope Benedict Says 'Changes Are A Coming'

[media id=12578] Pope Benedict is finally commenting on the behavior of the Church over their handling of the multitudes of sexual abuse cases that h

Pope Benedict is finally commenting on the behavior of the Church over their handling of the multitudes of sexual abuse cases that have haunted the Vatican for decades and damaged scores of children in the process.

SF Chronicle:

After weeks of futile damage control, the Vatican is headed in a more honest direction. Pope Benedict XVI is promising to end the church's disgraceful dodging of a worldwide scandal over sex abuse of children by priests.

The pope held an emotional meeting with abuse victims on a trip to Malta and later told a public gathering in St. Peter's Square that the church would take action. The details remain vague, but Benedict's acknowledgement of the problem and need for solutions is a huge step forward.

It shouldn't have taken this long. After years of turmoil over sex abuse in this country, accounts of mistreatment surfaced in Europe and South America.

It was a familiar pattern: a church hierarchy that transferred predator priests and avoided responsibility.

The Vatican's first reaction was as disheartening as the reports of abuse. The church denounced the media and other critics. It played the bureaucracy card, suggesting it was a problem for local bishops, not Rome.

The furor deepened amid reports that Benedict, while a church leader in Germany, overlooked warnings about an abusive priest. In the face of these troubles, the pope said little beyond the need for Catholics to "do penance."...read on

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The outside pressure finally got to the Vatican and forced Pope Benedict to respond publicly, which is something he's tried to avoid up until now. It's a sad state when the Infallible has to admit to the disgrace that the church has allowed to fester because of their Mob-like approach. We'll see what they do, but we can only "pray" that they do take all the necessary steps that keep these priests' hands off children, and if a molestation does happen, not to pass the pedophile onto another unsuspecting parish.

But the following story isn't very helpful to making their new promises even sound credible. From the Daily Dish:

In Australia, the police are increasingly frustrated at the Catholic church's refusal to fire abusive and rapist priests.

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VICTORIA Police has called for sweeping changes to the way Melbourne's Catholic Church deals with sex crime allegations, as The Age reveals that only one priest has been defrocked for abuse in the past 14 years. Nearly 300 allegations of sexual abuse have been substantiated by church investigations since 1996, when the ''Melbourne Response'' was set up to deal with complaints. It is believed the abuses were perpetrated by approximately 100 priests, a figure the church will not confirm. Just one priest has been defrocked as a result.

Well, the story came out one day before the Pope made his new pledge, so I guess he's covered his bases. Yeah, right.

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